It was September 1986, I woke that morning from a nightmare. Details of the nightmare followed me down the hall and into the dining room. One more thread in the knot of unresolved thoughts. Hannah and Jordan’s argument over who got to pour the milk on the Cheerios followed by the phone ringing, ushered me back into motherhood.

My friend Brenda called to remind me to meet at the park after I took Jordan to preschool.

 “Can’t meet today. I have my first counseling appointment while Jordan’s at school.”

“Who’s babysitting?”

“Pearl and Benny. Our friends up the road. They have the farm.”

“You’re taking a step in the right direction. Tell me all about it when you get back.”


I sat in my car and looked at the windows of Dr. Stephen Barone’s office. Even though I rehearsed the important talking points I hoped to discuss, doubt crept in.

What am I doing here? Are my problems so bad I have to talk with a psychologist?

Dr. Barone started our session with paper work and, “What brings you to my office today?”  

“My thoughts are stuck in a tangled mess of emotion. I keep going back to issues I had with different friends in junior and high school and why I can’t resolve them. I re-visit my teen years with a sense of dread and frustration.”

It took two months, meeting once a week for Dr. Barone to address each teen-related issue. And in small increments the heaviness of dread like concrete hardening inside of me, lifted.

The subject of discussion shifted to my immediate family, husband, children, hobbies, my parents, siblings and childhood.


At first I thought getting help made me a weak person. The issues seemed trivial and not worthy of spending time and money on with a licensed therapist. But because I couldn't find resolve on my own, I chose to dig deeper and take that next step. I researched various therapist and counseling services in my area. I called and interviewed several professionals until I felt comfortable making a decision. Search by state child abuse hotlines and resources. Click here.


Be safe. Be accurate. Be brave.